NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Where the 49ers stand after defeating the Buccaneers

Week 14 of the NFL season further cleared the championship picture.

The Philadelphia Eagles found a new top gear in New York, hanging 48 on a Giants team that’s losing oil like a ’72 Chevelle. In the Bay Area, Brock “Don’t Call Me Irrelevant” Purdy and the 49ers made a statement with a 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers reignited their playoff hopes with a dismal Taekz Bowl win over Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins.

As for the Bears, their draft position took a hit Sunday as the Denver Broncos continue to have nothing but morale to win.

Here’s how each team stands after Sunday’s Week 14 action:

32. Houston Texans (1-11-1): The Texans surprised the Cowboys with the Davis Mills-Jeff Driskel QB combo, but it wasn’t good enough for them to end the surprise. As the old saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks, you have zero. Texans need to find their franchise signal caller ASAP.

31. Denver Broncos (3-10): Denver can’t eat the dead cap hit it takes to slice what appears to be a washed soot. The Broncos’ best shot might be to call in Frank Reich to see if he can salvage the ruins of a franchise-destroying trade.

30. Chicago Bears (3-10): The Bears exit bye week to face an Eagles team that just hung on the Giants in 48 and appears to be in top gear. Much luck.

29. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1): It was a good Sunday for the Colts as wins by the Panthers and Jaguars moved them up to 7th overall in the draft. They can move up to 6th if the Cardinals beat the Patriots on Monday night. It’s the only way to win in Indy this season.

28. Los Angeles Rams (4-9): Baker Mayfield and Sean McVay could be a really fun pairing for the next four weeks. Or maybe the Raiders just stink.

27. New Orleans Saints (4-9): If the Saints hadn’t smothered last Monday night’s game, it would be a four-way tie in the NFC South, 5-8. As it stands, the Saints have sole possession of last place. Hard times at the bayou.

26Arizona Cardinals (4-8): There’s no way the Cardinals are going to hit back with Kliff, Kyler, and Keim next season, right?

25 Atlanta Falcons (5-8): It’s Desmond Ridder time in Atlanta. Better late than never I think.

24. Cleveland Browns (5-8): The Browns’ run defense lacks honor.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8): Mitch Trubisky just isn’t an NFL quarterback. never was will never be

22. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8): The Raiders have now lost to Baker Mayfield after he was in LA for two days and to Jeff Saturday after appearing on Get Up!. for two years. Impressive.

21. Carolina Panthers (5-8): Are the Sam Darnold-led Panthers the best team in the NFC South?

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8): On Sunday, Trevor Lawrence became the youngest player in NFL history to throw for 350 yards, three touchdowns and one touchdown in a game. The inventory is through the roof.

19. New England Patriots (6-6): From poor protection to a vanilla scheme, there are many issues with the Patriots offense in 2022, but Mac Jones is the least of their concerns.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7): The Bucs can’t run the ball, can’t protect Tom Brady and can’t find a way to consistently involve Mike Evans. This is just the beginning of the problems in Tampa.

17. Green Bay Packers (5-8): The Packers’ playoff hopes aren’t dead yet, but it will take some magic from Aaron Rodgers to propel Green Bay into the postseason. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

16. New York Giants (7-5-1): The Giants were a funny story in the first half, but Brian Daboll’s team is limping toward the finish line. New York has won just one game since Week 8 and was embarrassed by the Eagles on Sunday. Do you have anything left for next week’s crucial showdown with the Commanders?

15. Tennessee Titans (7-6): The Titans fired their GM midweek, and then the team went out and laid an egg against the Jaguars. The ship sinks in Nashville.

14.Seattle Seahawks (7-6): Seattle has dropped 90 points on 33 trips since its bye week. That’s 2.73 points per drive, which would be easily the worst in the NFL this season. The Seahawks were exposed.

13. New York Jets (7-6): Robert Saleh said the Jets would see the Bills again in playoff time. The jets have to get there first.

12. Washington Commanders (7-5-1): Washington sat at home on Sunday and watched his playoff chances increase with the Giants and Seahawks losses. A win against New York next Sunday and the Commanders should be in the driver’s seat for the No. 6.

11 Detroit Lions (6-7): The Lions have gone from 1-6 to 6-7 and have the playoffs in their sights. Detroit tripled their playoff chances (7 to 21 percent) with Sunday’s win against the Vikings. Are the Lions the fourth best team in the NFC? I could make the case.

10. Minnesota Vikings (10-3): How am I supposed to take the Vikings seriously? A team with 10 wins and a negative points difference? When it walks like a cheater and talks like a cheater…

9. Miami Dolphins (8-5): The 49ers showed the blueprint for stopping the Dolphins’ offense. That the Chargers were able to do the same with a patchwork of secondary and underperforming linebackers should set alarm bells ringing in South Beach.

8. Chargers from Los Angeles (7-6): Is eight high for a 7-6 Chargers team that’s been struggling to stop the run and can’t protect their quarterback? Yes indeed. But with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back and a soft schedule ahead of them, I want the Chargers to snap up the AFC No. 7.

7. Baltimore Ravens (9-4): The trade in Roquan Smith was the best move of the trading period, but not in the way the bears had hoped.

6. Dallas Cowboys (10-3): The Cowboys slept 57.5 minutes against the Texans on Sunday. But a stand on the goal line and a game win were enough to give Dallas their 10th win. Good teams find a way to win.

5. San Francisco 49ers (9-4): If Trent Dilfer can win a Super Bowl behind a vaunted defense, I see no reason why Brock Purdy can’t do the same with Kyle Shanahan and the embarrassment of the 49ers behind him.

4. Buffalo Bills (10-3): The Bill relied on their defense to beat the Jets on Sunday, but Josh Allen knows Buffalo’s offense needs to get a lot better in order for there to be a save at Orchard Park this February.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3): Travis Kelce perfectly summed up the Chiefs’ mistakes and their hopes after they avoided disaster against the Broncos on Sunday. “Even if you think you’ve got us, we still have 1-5 back there.”

2. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4): The Bengals have kept Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry at bay while limiting Patrick Mahomes to a season-low 223 yards. Cincy can hit you in different ways.

1. Philly Eagles (12-1): The NFL’s Death Star appears to be fully operational in Philadelphia, and the Eagles still believe they need to hit another gear. Spooky hours for the rest of the NFC.

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